Updated: Apr 26
Diabetes is a life-long condition that requires proper treatment and management. As the population grows, more and more are affected by this disease. And seniors are among those affected. Thankfully, there are ways to manage diabetes. One of which is through the professional services of skilled nursing care.
As people age, the risk of diabetes is elevated. In part because aging retirees are less likely to be physically active. Or they have been on a high sugar diet when they were younger.
Although seniors are at an increased risk, it's still possible to live life comfortably. With proper skilled nursing care at home, their condition can become manageable.
Health Complications Associated With Diabetes in Seniors
Diabetes can develop at any age. And it is also a complicated health condition. Failing to manage it can lead to more serious problems. That said, it is beneficial to be aware of the common symptoms for early detection.
Increased hunger or thirst
Unexplained weight loss
Delayed healing of cuts or bruises
If you or a senior loved one experiences any of these symptoms, consult a healthcare professional.
What if you or an aging loved one is already diagnosed with diabetes?
Managing Diabetes in Seniors at Home
Seniors with diabetes can enjoy their retirement years at home. They can continue to live comfortably in an environment that is familiar to them.
But to successfully manage diabetes, seniors need a lifestyle change. This means eating healthy foods and exercising. But for some retirees, this can be a bit challenging.
For example, eating healthy means they have to prepare meals instead of eating processed, unhealthy foods. Physical activities may also prove to be challenging for seniors with mobility issues. Additionally, there's also an increased risk of falls.
That said, you or a senior loved one may benefit from the services of a home health aide.
How can a home health aide assist seniors with diabetes?
Provide assistance in basic medication management and administration
Measure vitals such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature
Assistance with light exercises as well as with mobility devices
Assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and continence
A home care professional can provide assistance for approximately 4-8 hours per day. But if you or an elderly loved one requires extra medical attention, skilled nursing care may prove to be beneficial.
How Skilled Nursing Care Can Help Manage Diabetes
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to further health complications. In fact, seniors have a higher risk of developing mental or physical disabilities due to this disease. It could lead to depression, chronic pain, kidney disease, and more. That said, proper treatment and medication must be done.
But diabetes treatment relies so much on routine and careful monitoring. It can be challenging for seniors to stay on top of their health condition. Thankfully, skilled nursing care by a registered nurse can also be an in-home care option.
Skilled Registered Nurses (RNs) will come to the senior's house to assist with their medical needs and follow any protocols prescribed by a physician. They will be there to treat as well as educate family members to properly manage this disease, and also report back required medical documentation to the Dr’s Office.
In addition to providing continuing education, oversight, and diet specific guidance, in-home nurse care will provide the following assistance:
Administer Diabetic Medications
It can be challenging for seniors to keep track of their oral diabetes medications. Or they might forget and take extra dosages. Some might have trouble administering insulin injections.
All these complications can be avoided.
Registered Nurses provide a high level of service for medical care. They are trained to take care of diabetic patients. That said, they can assist in medication management. They are also trained to properly administer insulin injections as required. Best of all, they can educate the family as well as health aides on proper medication administration.
Monitor Blood Glucose Level
Proper monitoring of blood glucose levels is crucial in managing diabetes. You or a loved one may find it challenging to properly use the blood glucose meter. Some seniors with blurry vision may not be able to read their results.
Skilled nursing care can help with blood glucose monitoring. The Registered Nurse is trained in using medical equipment such as a glucose meter. More importantly, they can also recommend a proper diet to help control sugar levels.
Caring For Diabetic Wounds
Diabetic patients, especially elderly patients, need to monitor their skin integrity. Diabetes can impair circulation and neuropathy. This means seniors with diabetes are more at risk for wounds and delayed healing.
Prevention is always better than cure. That said, taking precautions against falls can also go a long way. But if you or a senior loved one gets wounded or is injured, skilled nursing care can help prevent further complications.
Some Registered Nurses are trained in wound care. They can properly manage diabetic wounds, pressure ulcers, and acute and chronic wounds.
Unified Pledge specializes in Wound & Ostomy Care. The Co-Founder & Director of Nursing has a specialized certification in Wound & Ostomy Care from the Wound Ostomy & Continence Certification Board®. Having your initial assessment and supervision conducted by a professional with this level of expertise is highly beneficial.
A Registered Nurse's visit usually lasts half an hour. With their experience and training, they can help in managing diabetes in seniors. More importantly, they can educate the family as well as the health aide in regards to post-treatment home care needs.
Are you or a senior parent looking into skilled nursing care?
Unified Pledge Home Health provides a FREE consultation! Ask all your questions and discuss the assistance you or your loved one may prefer.
A reputable home health agency will perform a complementary in-home care assessment done by a registered nurse. In doing so, they can create a Personalized Health Care Plan.
Hiring professionals from Unified Pledge comes with the following advantages:
Level II FBI background checks of all staff
Driving history checks
Companions, health aides, LPNs are our direct employees and not independent contractors
Constant communication to patients, family, and care team
Registered Nurse supervision is ongoing with every care plan